Career Preparation

The Liberal Arts with a Future Focus

Pacific University enhances the professional development inherent in its curriculum with dynamic, specialized programs and support structures. The cocurricular enhancements described below constitute one of the four cornerstones of a Pacific education, which we call “Future Focus.” Together, these opportunities give our students a powerful advantage in their pursuit of advanced study and career success. 

Advising Team

Every Pacific undergraduate is supported with an advising team, consisting of an advisor in our professional Advising Center, a faculty academic advisor, and a Career Development Center counselor. At Pacific, advising is more than help with a schedule; it includes invitations to reflect on your sense of purpose in life, set goals, plan your path to graduation, and prepare intentionally for life after graduation.

Advantage Scholars Program

The Advantage Scholars Program provides specialized programming for any student pursuing a career in the health professions, as well as clearly defined pathways for exceptionally well-prepared undergraduate students to move seamlessly into a Pacific graduate program of their choice in the health professionsoptometryspeech-language pathology or social work.

Applied and Experiential Learning

Internships & Practica

Situated in the heart of Washington County, Oregon’s recognized economic engine, Pacific has relationships with countless businesses and agencies providing rich internship opportunities. In addition, a number of majors make clinical, professional, or research practica a hallmark of their curricula.

Civic Engagement

Every student puts knowledge and skills into action through a required civic engagement experience. Students partner with agencies beyond the campus, learning through real-world experience and applying classroom learning to authentic challenges. Through these experiences, many students discover lifelong passions as well as career directions.

Undergraduate Research

Students benefit from additional hands-on learning through faculty-mentored undergraduate research in the lab, in the library, and in the field. In addition to research integrated into the academic year, Pacific supports a robust summer research program providing paid, full-time professional research experiences. Faculty integrate students into their own research, providing students opportunities to co-author and co-publish with their professors.

Communication & Presentation Skills

Students develop fundamental writing and oral presentation skills in their First-Year Seminar and expository writing courses and hone those skills in courses across the curriculum. Faculty integrate disciplinary multimedia learning and presentation tools into their curricula, ensuring that students graduate ready to communicate effectively to multiple audiences in the media appropriate to their fields.

Leadership Development

In addition to leadership skills gained in such cocurricular areas as athletics and student government, students can take leadership roles in the support of cocurricular centers, such as the Center for Gender Equity and the Center for Civic Engagement. Students can also serve as tutors and mentors through those programs as well as through the Tutoring and Learning Center, the Pacific Leadership Academy, the First-Year Seminar peer mentor program, and other guided leadership development programs.

Senior Capstone Projects

Faculty regularly integrate real-world learning into their courses, as case studies and through community partnerships. Students furthermore practice integrating their learning across disciplines through our Focal Studies coursework. All students then demonstrate their ability to apply and integrate research, creative thinking, disciplinary knowledge, and effective communication in a year-long Senior Capstone project.

Pre-Professional Tracks

Pre-professional tracks provide curricular pathways as well as specialized advising for students preparing for specific graduate programs in medicinedentistryoptometry and selected other health professions. These tracks also provide opportunities to meet professionals in these fields and to network with peers pursuing similar interests.

Pre-Professional Minors

In addition to selected majors focused in specific career directions, such as business and education, Pacific also offers minors designed to augment any major with specific, targeted career skill sets, such as editing & publishing, communication design, business administration and outdoor leadership.

Dual-Enrollment and Accelerated Tracks

Agreements with other institutions and with Pacific’s own graduate programs provide five-year paths to dual bachelor's-master's degrees in engineering and athletic trainingbachelor’s of social work students enter with advanced standing in Pacific’s MSW program; optometry offers a 3-4 bachelor's-doctoral track; business offers a three-year accelerated bachelor's track.

The Fellowship Office

The Fellowship Office provides guidance and support to Pacific undergraduate students and alumni interested in applying for nationally and internationally competitive scholarships and fellowships.

Campus Employment

At Pacific, a campus job is more than a paycheck; it is applied learning that helps students develop leadership, management and other valued job skills. Students often secure a position that allows them to graduate to higher levels of responsibility over time.

Career Development Center

Pacific’s professional career counselors and staff sponsor resume and interview workshops, career fairs, alumni networking events and other activities. The center also work individually with students exploring aptitudes and career interests as well as internship opportunities.

Alumni Partners

Pacific students are supported by alumni in countless ways, from gifts supporting financial aid, to presenting at career fairs, to internships offered through their businesses. The alumni network is a lifetime lifeline for career mentors and future support. Take a look at possible futures through alumni stories.